Chicago White Sox's 5 Most Memorable Highlights of Season's First Half
The Chicago White Sox finished the first three months of the 2013 season with a disappointing 32-47 record. Actually, disappointing is a poor adjective when describing the White Sox.
It is much worse than that.
Amidst the failures and heartbreaking losses that have defined the White Sox so far this year, the positives are often overlooked, or worse yet, forgotten. And make no mistake that, while rooted in the depths of hopelessness for much of the season, they have had their moments.
We’re going to keep things light for a change and accentuate the good times.
To be sure, the list is short, but here are the White Sox’s most memorable moments to this point—in chronological order—beginning with their Opening Day victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Statistics and contract information courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.
Chris Sale Dominates on Opening Day
With the exception of the intro video the White Sox debuted on April 1, Opening Day was glorious.
In a matchup against the newly acquired James Shields, Sale pitched 7.2 innings of shutout baseball before handing the ball over to his bullpen. Nate Jones walked the Sox into some trouble before Matt Thornton and Addison Reed locked the Royals down.
The Sox were 1-0 and in first place in the AL Central.
Also of note on Opening Day was the game-winning home run Tyler Flowers hit to lead off the fifth inning. For at least one day, Flowers quashed all concern about his offensive capabilities.
Dayan Viciedo Delivers...Walk-off Style
Less than one week after Sale’s Opening Day gem, left fielder Dayan Viciedo gave Sox fans another reason to celebrate against the Seattle Mariners.
With the score tied at three in the bottom of the 10th, Viciedo faced off against Kameron Loe. Unfortunately for the Mariners, Loe fell behind in the count and tried to get a bit too creative.
The News Tribune noted that Loe's objective was to dot the outside of the dish with a sinker. However, it “leaked back over the plate," and Viciedo promptly deposited it into the stands just beyond the White Sox bullpen.
Following Tanks heroics, the White Sox had four wins and were still in first place in the Central. It would be the last time they had a share of the division lead.
Chris Sale's One-Hit Masterpiece
Once again, Chris Sale is involved in one of the White Sox’s most memorable moments.
When the Pale Hose faced off against C.J. Wilson and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sunday, May 12, they had almost the same record (15-20) as the year before (16-18), yet the seasons felt drastically different.
The White Sox had lost eight of their prior 12 games and had fallen a full six games behind the Detroit Tigers. They needed a win in the worst way.
Sale did the White Sox one better.
He took a perfect game into the seventh inning before Mike Trout hit one up the middle for a single. It was the only time an Angel reached base, as Sale finished with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Following the one-hit shutout, the left-hander was 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA.
White Sox Win 10 out of 14 Games, Highlighted by a Sweep of the Marlins
Following Sale’s one-hit shutout, the White Sox won nine out of the next 13 games. It was the three-game sweep of the hapless Miami Marlins that left many fans believing this team was finally turning the corner.
ESPN.com’s Doug Padilla described the White Sox reaching .500 as a “baby step.”
He was right.
Reaching .500 was a minor accomplishment in the grand scheme, but it marked the last time the White Sox were as close as four games behind the division leader, and it was certainly one of the highlights of the season.
It was the best two-week stretch the Sox have put together all season.
White Sox Win in 16 Against the Seattle Mariners
Who can forget the marathon the White Sox played against the Seattle Mariners on June 5?
When the Sox scored five times in the top of the 14th inning, it appeared as though they had the game locked up.
Not so fast. The Mariners answered with five of their own to tie the contest before the White Sox finally won 7-5 in 16 innings.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the thriller was the first time in MLB history when at least five runs were scored by both teams after they failed to score during the first nine innings—via Buster Olney’s Twitter feed.
What makes the game fascinating is that the five-hour, 42-minute contest was thoroughly exciting for all of 47 minutes. Prior to that, it was a game dominated by double-play groundouts and runners stranded in scoring position.
Consider yourself lucky if you caught this one live and happened to be following on Twitter. It was an absolute blast.